- The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra offers a bigger display and better cameras.
- Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers slightly better performance with Apple's custom A17 Pro chipset
- The Galaxy S24 Ultra surely does seem to be a better overall device with the AI features making it all the more worth it.
The Galaxy AI event was undoubtedly one of the most anticipated tech events this year. Thanks to this event, we now get to see the Samsung Galaxy S24 series in all its glory. Moreover, it goes without saying that the top-of-the-line Galaxy S24 Ultra stole all the spotlight, and for valid reasons. But, how does Samsung’s 2024 ultra flagship fare against last year’s Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max? In this Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max comparison, we pit the best of both worlds against each other to see who emerges superior! So, read on to know everything.
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Display and Design
Moving on, let’s talk about the display specs of the two flagships now. Starting off with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, it features a big 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. This display offers a resolution of 3120 x 1440 pixels alongside a 505 PPI. In addition, there is a fast 120Hz refresh rate alongside HDR 10+ support.
The flagship also comes with the new Corning Gorilla Armor on top to protect it against falls. Most importantly, Samsung has decided to go with a flat display this year, going against the curved display trend of late. In addition, we also get to see a peak brightness of 2,500 nits.
Talking about the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it features a slightly smaller 6.7-inch LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED display. This display offers a lower resolution of 1290 x 2796 pixels when compared to the Galaxy S24 Ultra. The peak brightness also falls short of 500 nits, at 2,000 nits. Additional display specs include a 120Hz fast refresh rate, and 460 PPI, alongside Ceramic Shield on top.
Further, both smartphones come with an IP68 water-resistance rating, which is always a good thing design-wise. However, when it comes to the design of these two smartphones, it all comes down to your preference. While the Galaxy S24 Ultra has a boxy 79.0 x 162.3 x 8.6mm design, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has circular edges on a 76.7 x 159.9 x 8.3 mm body, making it easy to hold without the edges digging into your skin.
Besides, both devices retain the looks of their respective predecessors, having little to no changes on the design front. Moreover, both the Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max are heavy, weighing 232 and 221 grams, respectively.
On the display front, however, the on-paper specifications clearly reveal the Galaxy S24 Ultra to be a winner. Not only do you get a bigger display, but you also get to see a QHD+ one with more pixels. Outdoor visibility will also be better, thanks to more peak brightness on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. You will also feel safer accidentally dropping your phone now and then with the better Gorilla Glass Armor protection. Flat display edges further decrease the probability of breaking the screen.
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Performance
One of the biggest upgrades with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is its performance. The ultra flagship is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC. Now, this 4nm ARM-based chipset, with the 8 Gen 3 using a single core of the latest ARM Cortex-X4–based prime core clocked at up to 3.3GHz. Meanwhile, there are Five ARM Cortex-720-based performance cores clocked between 3.0-3.2GHz. Additionally, there are two ARM Cortex-520-based efficiency cores as well, clocked at up to 2.3GHz.
On the other hand, the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses Apple’s latest A17 Pro processor. Now, this chipset is based on the 3nm architecture, as compared to the 4nm-based 8 Gen 3. Moreover, Apple does not rely on the latest Cortex X4 architecture. Instead, they make their own cores based on the ARM architecture. They have been doing this for years and have always been ahead in the performance department, as a result.
However, this time, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the Galaxy S24 Ultra comes very close to beating the A17 Pro on the 15 Pro Max. The latter is just 3% faster, making it a super close call. Moreover, if you compare the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 benchmarks with that of the A17 Pro, you will see that the numbers showcase barely any difference. It is understandable that Apple is still leading the race in the single-core department. However, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has managed to surpass it when it comes to multi-core performance.
|Geekbench 6 (Single-core)
|Geekbench 6 (Multi-core)
|Apple A17 Pro
|Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
Now, although both smartphones really do deliver top-level performance, the A17 Pro takes the lead in terms of slightly better performance and power efficiency.
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra features a quad-rear camera setup. We get to see a 200MP primary sensor with OIS and an F 1.7 aperture. To accompany the primary sensor, there is also a dual telephoto sensor setup. One of these telephoto sensors features a 50MP quad-pixel autofocus sensor with OIS, 5x optical zoom capability, and an F 3.4 aperture.
When it comes to the second telephoto camera, it’s a 10MP sensor backed by OIS, 3x optical zoom and an F 2.4 aperture. Lastly, there is a 12MP ultra-wide-angle sensor with a 120-degree FOV and an aperture of F/2.2. As for the selfie shooter, there is a 12MP sensor at the front with an aperture of F/2.2.
Meanwhile, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with a triple rear camera setup. This setup includes a 48MP wide-angle F/1.8 sensor that doubles down as the primary sensor. Additionally, there is a 12MP ultra-wide-angle F/2.2 secondary sensor. Finally, there is a tertiary 12MP periscope telephoto f/2.8 sensor with 5x optical zoom.
When it comes to cameras, it goes without saying that the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s setup is stacked with all the best stuff. The Galaxy S23 Ultra already had commendable cameras. Now, with the better 50-megapixel telephoto sensor, one can only imagine the kind of output the Galaxy S24 Ultra has to offer.
However, it doesn’t end there. All of this superior camera hardware is paired with AI features. These features include Nightography zoom for photos, AI multi-frame processing across all the zoom ranges, and deep learning-based super-resolution to the table.
Additionally, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is pretty solid in the videography department as well, featuring 100x Space Zoom, 8K recording at up to 60 FPS, Nightography video, and more. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is limited to 4K recording at 60 FPS. Also, instead of 12-bit HDR on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, you are limited to 10-bit on the 15 Pro Max.
So, be it for photos or videos, the Galaxy S24 Ultra definitely has an edge over 15 Pro Max.
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Battery and Charging
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra retains the same 5,000mAh battery as last year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 Pro Max packs a 4,441mAh battery unit. Meanwhile, charging speeds have never been the strong suit of both brands. Where Samsung is capped out at offering 45W fast charging to its flagships, Apple can’t seem to go over 30W of maximum power delivery.
You can call it a tie since, although the Galaxy S24 Ultra does offer a bigger 5000mAh battery, it also has a more power-hungry processor under the hood. Not to mention that 8 Gen 3 actually has lesser power efficiency cores than its predecessor. That does translate to more power, but battery life understandably takes a hit. So, in an ideal day-to-day scenario, both the battery units should come very close to delivering similar screen-on time.
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Connectivity
As for connectivity, both flagships pack all that you need to smoothly get through on a daily basis. Talking about the S24 Ultra first, it comes with a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, Bluetooth 5.3, and Wi-Fi 7.
On the other hand, the iPhone 15 Pro Max also boasts a USB Type-C port along with Bluetooth 5.3. However, you get to see a better 3.2 Gen 2 port here. It is a bummer that the Galaxy S24 Ultra is stuck with a slightly outdated Gen 1 port here. Whereas, the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers a slower WiFi 6E instead of the WiFi 7 on the S24 Ultra.
So, yes, you win some and lose out on something else. It is mostly a tie here. But, Apple finally introducing a Type-C port and ditching the lightning port surely gives iPhones a new kind of leverage now. Especially since that was one of the major blockades that stood in the way of Android users shifting to iOS.
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Software Updates
Last year, Google announced a whopping 7 years of software updates for its Pixel 8 series of devices. Looks like Samsung decided to not be left behind as this year, we get to see the Galaxy S24 series arrive with a similar promise. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra brings 7 years of software update support with it. This includes major OS updates and security patches.
Then again, that is nothing new for the iPhones as they have always been known to get exceptional software update support. The good thing is that this new shift in terms of software updates for premium Android flagships makes going all out on an ultra flagship like the Galaxy S24 Ultra worth it.
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Specifications
|Galaxy S24 Ultra
|iPhone 15 Pro Max
|79.0 x 162.3 x 8.6mm
|76.7 x 159.9 x 8.3 mm
|Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (8 cores, 4nm)
|Apple A17 Pro (6 cores, TSMC 3nm)
|RAM/ Storage (Base)
|12GB LPDDR5X / 1TB UFS 4.1
|8GB LPDDR5 / 1TB NVMe
|6.8-inch QHD+ 120Hz LTPO Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, 3120 x 1440, 505 ppi, Up to 2500 nits
|6.7-inch 120Hz LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED, 1290 x 2796, 460 ppi, Up to 2000 nits
|50MP Main+ 48MP Ultrawide + 48MP Telephoto (5x optical zoom)
|48MP Main + 12MP Ultrawide + 12MP Telephoto (3x optical zoom)
|12MP + Face ID
|8K at 60FPS, 12-bit HDR, 100x Space Zoom
|4K at 60FPS, 10-bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR, ProRes, Spatial video, Apple Log
|Yes; Supports eSIM
|Yes; Supports eSIM
|5G, Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, LE, NFC
|5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, LE, NFC
|Yes, 3.2 Gen 1
|Yes, 3.2 Gen 2
|45W wired, 15W wireless
|27W wired, 15W wireless with MagSafe
|Android 14, 7 years of OS updates
|iOS 17, 5 years of OS updates
|Starts at $1,299
|Starts at $1,199
This is probably the very first time in years that a top-of-the-line Android has been able to come super close to beating the latest and greatest iPhone in terms of sheer, raw performance at least on the specs sheet. One can only imagine where it goes from here. However, that is not the only area that the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra manages to impress.
The barrage of AI features makes the entire device a lot more user-friendly than one may want to agree. Be it the live translation of calls, AI note assist, or Nightography Zoom, the possibilities are definitely broader with the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
It is the truest next-gen “ultra” premium Android experience that money can quite possibly buy right now. The OneUI on top makes it all the more worth it, given that it is undoubtedly one of the best and most sought-after Android skins out there. Moreover, being equipped with significantly better cameras, the S24 Ultra is brave enough to not just go against but mop the floor with what is considered to be one of the best cameras in the smartphone world.
On top of all that madness, there are the 7 years of software update support that Samsung casually threw and hit the spot with, making the S24 Ultra rise a little and match up to Apple’s unparalleled software support.
However, only time will tell if Samsung can hold this spot for longer, given that the iPhone 16 series is already in the works. Right now, it does come down to your requirements and what you actually want from an ultra flagship smartphone. One thing is clear though; both the devices will exceed your expectations.